You can spend lots of money. Or you can follow these five free and easy tactics. How many are you doing now?

1. Quantify. Money talks. Fluff walks.

Put a dollar value on how they'll benefit from the purchase. Show their rate of return.

This exercise is easy. You can value time saved by estimating the number of hours saved per annum multiplied by the value of that person's time (their wage per hour, salary).

Stress reduction leads to happier employees, which helps reduce turnover. Quantify the savings in recruitment costs along with the productivity continuum. More sales? Take the average value of one sale (you can even factor in the life time value of that one new client) multiplied by the number of new ones expected.

You can get the base information any number of ways. Research on the Internet. Their Competitors. Annual reports. Talk to HR professionals about salary levels. Colleagues in that industry. Allies within that company.


2. Go for many vs. one

It makes more sense to use a top down rather than bottom up approach. If appropriate instead of directing your marketing to individuals or single businesses, target higher at places they congregate. Associations. Clubs. Groups.

3. It's about them. Not you

How much time do you take researching a prospect before your initial contact? Do you simply front up at the meeting, talk about you, your business and then ask for theirs?

It's not just face to face conversations. Almost every piece of marketing material, proposal, sales presentation that I see has the wrong I/You ratio. Your prospects care solely about themselves. Yet most marketing material focuses on how wonderful we are. How great we do. Replace this inward attention from you to a 'what's in it for them' perspective. Will it make them more successful? How will it make them happier? How will it make them more money?

4. Stay in touch

Most of us never hear again from a company we've done business with - that is except perhaps in trying to sell once again. In addition, build relationships. People do business with people, not companies. Maintaining a regular communication strategy will keep your company top of mind and gain more referrals. But remember point 3 - the communication is primarily for their benefit - not just yours. The mode of communication should be varied too. Not just email. When was the last time you picked up the phone and called existing customers? You'd be surprised how much business you can generate that way.

5. Persistency

Most sales contacts, from newspaper advertisements through to calls ask for the business now. When the answer is "no, not now", they move on to the next prospect. Then the next. And the next. That money spent advertising or time communicating is forever wasted.

Instead adapt an additional approach of "can we start up a conversation"? In other words, by using the communication strategy you set up in point 4, you create longevity. You nurture prospects along until they are ready to do business with you, or equally important, refer people to you.

By combining these five tactics, you can improve your success while using less money, time and effort.